Full disclosure – I was provided an advanced reader’s copy of this book by the authors in exchange for an honest review.
Violet Darger is an agent trainee with the FBI. After having spent the last four years in the office of Victim Assistance recent developments have prompted Violet to rethink her career choices and move from a sideline position to a more active role. Her first assignment as an agent sees her going to Ohio to link up with a veteran agent and assist with the “Doll Parts Murderer” case. When she arrives, she finds her partner stricken with an illness and as agent Loshak becomes less and less accessible, Violet is thrust into the forefront of investigating the serial murders. As an untrained rookie, she steps on many toes along the way but uncovers a few crucial pieces of previously discarded information that eventually leads her in the right direction. The Doll Parts Murderer is onto her however and as Violet get closer to learning who their killer is, she also gets closer to becoming his next victim.
I am fairly certain after reading Dead End Girl that there is not a genre that Tim McBain and LT Vargus cannot conquer. Dead End Girl is worlds away from any of their other books but that does not hinder this story in the slightest. The action moves at a pace that is not too slow, not too fast but you still have to be on your toes so you don’t miss anything. I loved the way that Sarah Peterson was portrayed. The offender/problem child that is no stranger to the local police who have developed a bias against her antics. Violet’s previous experience in the Victim Assistance unit allows her to view Sierra a person rather than a stereotype. Violet’s willingness to believe in Sierra when everyone else has written her off was just the first of threads to be pulled that helped to unravel the case.
There has also got to be something to be said for words that can come to life and make you want to hurl while reading certain scenes. Reading this at work on lunch most days, I found myself fighting my gag reflex on a few occasions. This killer is sick, his methods twisted and the way he covers his tracks truly brilliant. It makes me think how much we really know about the people around us and who they claim to say they are.
Not to give too much away, let’s just say that “Dead End Girl” is a must read for anyone who loves a good rampaging murderer and a bloody body count. With this being Violet’s first case as a trainee agent I’m sure her cases will only get more and more bizarre in future installments. Looking forward to seeing where Violet’s professional and personal lives go in the next book.